Contemp. Issues in Crim. Law & Procedure

This seminar will examine many of the core components of the criminal process, such as bail, prosecutorial discretion, defense representation, plea bargaining, jury selection, punishment, and racial bias. As we study each component and its legal architecture, we will examine contemporary (and sometimes long-standing) critiques and ideas about what might be done differently. We will consider both discrete reforms and abolitionist visions, and will invite experts to share their thoughts on both. The seminar will offer the opportunity to hone a number of skills that will be useful in practice, such as professional dialog and debate; openness to diverse views and experiences; careful listening; close reading; thorough and efficient research; clear, concise, well-supported, and persuasive writing; oral presentation to an interested audience; strategic brainstorming; creative imagining; and self-awareness.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter grade. Students will be graded on class participation, a presentation, a reflection paper, and a research paper. Students seeking to fulfill the Upper-Class Writing Requirement may do so with the research paper.